The British Ex-Forces in Business Awards is the world’s largest celebration of the veteran’s community, showcasing the huge value to employers who hire service-leavers.

Red7Marine, is celebrating following the announcement of two employees who have been shortlisted for their achievements, amongst the record-breaking number of 600 nominees.

The employees shortlisted within Red7Marine are Mark Smith, Head of QHSE and Business Improvement who is a finalist in the ‘Outstanding Achiever of the Year’ category and Rob Arnott, Marine Superintendent in the ‘Young Leader of the Year’ category.

Mark Smith joined Red7Marine in October 2016 from a background in senior operations and QHSE management roles within the offshore oil and gas engineering industry.  His initial role at Red7Marine was Quality Manager, engaged to implement a quality management system for the business.

Mark served for 25 years in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (British Army) and completed his colour service in 2013 as a Senior Engineering Operations Manager for 16 Air Assault Brigade. Since arriving at the company, Mark has created every business management system that underpins how Red7Marine delivers business. These include quality, occupational health and safety, emergency response, environmental management, marine operations management, business risk management and project management systems.

Rob on the other hand, joined Red7Marine in 2013 following his service with the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment for several years.

After deciding to leave the military, Rob was passionate about pursuing a role that had future progression opportunities but was also challenging and exciting. He enrolled with Engineering for Industry and from here joined Red7Marine as a Trainee Barge Master Apprentice. From day one of joining the company, Rob displayed a strong military ethos and work ethic and remains the fastest apprentice to achieve Barge Master status in just 18 months.

Kristen Branford, Managing Director at Red7Marine comments: “We are extremely proud of Mark and Rob in being shortlisted within the prestigious Ex-Forces in Business Awards. They are both invaluable assets to our team and inspire and motivate us all daily with their achievements within the company.

We understand the challenging transition many veterans face with beginning a second career, but more importantly we understand just how many skills these individuals have to offer any industry.

With an exceptional work ethic, highly transferrable qualities and a real propensity to learn new skills in challenging environments, ex-service personnel are ideal candidates for the marine construction sector, and this is something we promote continuously within our industry.”

Since launching in 2018, the prestigious awards initiative, has played a prominent role in eradicating the negative misconceptions that disadvantage veterans in the workplace. In a study by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, a third of UK hirers said they’d feel reluctant hiring someone who served in the military, and just 48% of workers said they would feel comfortable working with a service leaver.

Lt. Gen. Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, Official Charity Partner of the Awards, said: “Many congratulations to everybody who has been shortlisted for the 2021 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards. SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is very proud to be associated with this important programme, which celebrates veteran employment and increases visibility of business role models for servicemen and women.

“As a former Chief of Defence People, and now Chief Executive at an Armed Forces charity which operates a mentoring scheme amongst other vital services, I am very aware of the challenges that can be faced by service leavers during their transition, and role models are crucial. It is heartening to see such a large volume and breadth of employers acknowledging the skills and values of those who have served their country.”

The winners of this year’s British Ex-Forces in Business Awards will be announced and celebrated at a glittering ceremony on 2 December, taking place in the InterContinental London – The O2. In attendance will be over 1,000 business and military leaders, expected to represent over 400 UK employers. Jacqui Oatley MBE will host the ceremony, as well as introducing a programme of live entertainment and special guest speakers including the double Olympic rowing champion Major Heather Stanning OBE.